Favorite Products

Are You Planner Challenged?

 

Over the years, I have flip flopped from paper to digital.  I have bought LOTS of paper planners in search of the perfect one.  The one which allows me to put “everything” in one spot.  It has been a challenge.

I have tried Erin Condren. Nice but a little pricey for me

I have tried digital but I always manage to forget to look at the calendar except when I am adding thing to it.

I have tried the ARC system from Staples.  Liked it but it was really heavy when I was trying to carry a whole year of weekly & monthly sections.  Of course the load got lighter as the months passed and I took out pages.

I tried the “inexpensive” ones from Target or Walmart.  Just not enough space for everything.

Many years ago when I was in the non-profit world, DayTimer was my best friend.  I loved it.  It didn’t seem practical as I added my direct sales business to the mix of things.

I needed a monthly calendar to look at the big picture, I need space during the week to schedule appointments along with space to make notes for my to do list.

I saw the Passion Planner about two years ago, about $35 but they always run lots of specials.  It provided me with some structure to set goals (long and short term), review how the month went and space to dream.  It looks professional and comes in two sizes to make it easy to carry.

At Thirty One’s National Conference, they introduced a planner just for consultants.  I was a little skeptical since I really liked the Passion Planner.  We were given an opportunity to purchase it and try it.  So in mid-October it arrived.  I sat my Passion Planner on the desk as a back up.  I wasn’t ready to let go. But after two months of using my Thirty One planner, my Passion Planner is now sitting on the shelf.  I know, you are wondering why I bothered telling you right?

Well, during Customer Appreciation Month which started on Tuesday morning, Thirty One is offering a paper planner to our customers in two options in the Exclusive Celebrate You style! Each planner is made to order by an outside printer, therefore we cannot guarantee that this item is delivered by December 25th

What type of planner do you use?  What are your biggest challenges in finding a planner which works for you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Time Management, Unclutter Your Life

Busy Mom Tips

Hopefully by now you have settled into a routine after the back to school craziness.  Are you wishing you could put an “out of order” sign on your head and run away?  Thank you to The Peaceful Mom for the inspiration for today’s blog…

Are you searching for a way to get it all done and stay sane?  Do you wonder if it is even possible to do that?  Is your to-do list growing while your time seems to be slipping away?

I know my daughter is grown but I do still run into days like this.  I think I still suffer from the same overwhelm I did so many years ago juggling work, business and family.  Here are some tips from the Peaceful Mom and me.

#1 – KICK MOM GUILT TO THE CURB

It is okay if you don’t get everything done.  Let me repeat “it is okay NOT to get everything done”!  Some things can wait.  Yup, I still suffer with mom guilt.  🙂  The best way for me to get things done is to set THREE tasks a day as my top priority.  I used to do this when Belinda was growing up.  Picking just one or two things to get done during the week while I was working full-time and being mom taxi.  I seemed to forget how well it worked until a business coach, Desiree Wolfe suggested the same thing for my business.

Some tasks can wait, it all depends on what needs attention at the moment. I have started using my Passion Planner for more then just keeping track of office hours, weekly to dos, business stuff and medical appointments.  I am using it to list my 3 things for the day.  I love the fact it has space to make lots of notes  as well as a spot to celebrate “good things which happened”.  Now, I am sure you could accomplish more than 3 things in a day BUT for those days when getting 3 things done is a struggle, you will want to have this system in place.  Sometimes the list looks like this:

Yup, when brain fog sets in, this could be my list of things to do.  The biggest accomplishment is no losing my temper and on some days it is a true miracle.

#2 THINK TINY

Do you have “time pockets”?  You know the 5 or 10 minutes while you are waiting for the kids in the school line or washing some dishes as you cook dinner.  I like the term “time pockets” instead of multi-tasking.  Pick a task to do while you are waiting (one which will only take a few minutes)… waiting for the kids, waiting in line to check out, waiting for your gas task to be filled.  How many time pockets do you have and how can you fill them to get more things done?

#3 – CHOOSE YOUR TOOLS

Busy moms need practical, functional tools to stay on top of all the details. Let’s face it we are not only juggling our own stuff but things for the entire family.  I use a paper planner, the calendar app on my phone and Notes on my phone.  I talked about my Passion Planner.  It is where I dream big, set my goals and priorities then create a weekly plan to pull it all together.  I use my smart phone calendar to set notifications and keep track of appointments because it is linked to my iPad and my MAC.  The benefit of Google Calendar is you can keep everyone’s stuff organized then share it with everyone across all devices.  You need to find a system which works for YOU.

#4 – MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF

I take time each week to plan for the upcoming week. My planning time is Sunday evening and I plan out:

  • My Calendar: Set the goals, projects and top priority tasks for the week and time block on my calendar.  I also prep for the week for posting on all of my business pages with CinchShare.
  • Meals:  Planning for meals is a BIG help for busy moms.  Since I only cook twice a week, it is not tops on my list.  
  • Money:  This is now part of my Sunday night routine.  Review the bills which need to be paid and figure out what the budget will be for the week.  

When you take the time to plan, you will find the week goes some much smoother.  Include scheduling the planning time on your calendar so you don’t make excuses.

#5 – BUDDY UP

Carpooling can be a life saver for the busy mom.  Team up with someone to share the mom taxi role.  You take the kids to practice, she picks them up.  You watch her kids so she can run errands and then swap so she watches yours.  Remember we don’t have to do it ALL!  Teaming up with other moms gives everyone a break.  No help?  Why not limit your kids extra activities and your extra commitments.  No, it won’t make you a bad parent!  

The BIGGEST tip is to remember what is really important and stop obsessing over little things.  For many years, I felt guilty for leaving Belinda a daycare from the time she was 6 weeks old BUT when things came together and I was able to quit my job to work at home, I realized what was important.  She didn’t remember spending days at daycare when she remembers (I hope) is the time we spent together while she was in HS and my schedule was flexible.

Remember you are doing the best you can do with everything on your plate.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Staff Meetings?

monday morningOkay so it is really Wednesday and it is HUMP Day!  For some it may seem like a Monday with kids heading back to school. Back to school usually means a new routine for your business.  No, our kids are grown but I still remember the struggle of back to school week.

I am getting things set up as I leave on Saturday for 7 days of NO WIFI and limited phone connection.  Yes, I am putting down the electronics for a few days (by force since I will be cursing – LOL).

Mentally, I am already gone… it is really hard to focus BUT I am trying to ensure my business does not suffer from Vacation Veronica this month.  August was AWESOME, actually the whole summer was good even those “dreaded J months”.  My numbers weren’t as high as last year but close enough.  So I definitely want to keep up the momentum.  How many of you coasted through the summer meeting your minimums? Maybe you lowered your goals to be sure you met them.  I’ve been there…I did it for my first 5 years as a consultant, then I decided to do things a little different.  Did you set a goal to do better over the summer but then fell into the same Vacation Veronica syndrome?  Admit it – we often let life run our business.  Our lack of structure or systems has kicked us in the butt!

Well, the kids are back to school.  The busy holiday season is rapidly approaching and I for one am ready to grab as much business as possible.  What about you?

Deb Bixler, a home party plan coach, posted this comment in the Women in Business Facebook group:

At the end of every week, have a meeting with yourself. How did I do this week? What do I need to accomplish next week? Am I stuck on anything, and if so, who can help me?

I have an AWESOME planner (Passion Planner) which hubby got for me (this is year two).  which pushes me to do this every week.  I know, it is crazy BUT it has really helped me to focus on my business.  Yes, I squirreled….

Have you or do you currently work some place where they have weekly staff meetings?  You know the ones you hate – come together to talk about what needs to be done or the status of current projects.  I had them all of the time when I was managing a non-profit.  I never thought of having one in my own business.  Why would I – I have a team not a staff.  The truth is this is a great way to take the LONG To Do list and narrow it down for the week.

Summer is over, and it is time to put some structure back in your business.  I always thought structure was for everyone else NOT my home based/direct sales business.  Crazy, right?  I used to avoid structure and fly by the seat of my pants.  Where did it get me?  Decreasing sales each year.  Low party numbers. Low recruiting numbers.  Overall, a poor example for my team. WOW!  If this isn’t a reality check, I don’t know what is!  Tell me I am not alone!!!!When we reframe our thinking, we change the perception and the Universe blesses us with abundance.  Structure doesn’t have to be boring.  Structure doesn’t have to suffocate you.  Structure helps us to set systems in place so we can reach our goals.  When I look back at earning LIT (Leadership Incentive Trip), my systems were working (I didn’t even realize I had any)!  I know for some this was a no brainer but for me it was a new thing.

I thought my system was sitting in my office every morning with a daily checklist of things to do.  I marked them off the list and thought I had accomplished something.  The truth was, it was (and sometimes still is) busy work – not income producing activities.  The truth was I didn’t have a system.  The tasks were just tasks.

About 6 months ago, I totally revamped my systems and included a weekly meeting.  Yup, any Sunday night, you can find me talking to myself as I lay out the upcoming week and reflect on the past week.  Has it worked?  I would have to say YES!  My sales have been consistent over the last 6 months.  I am seeing some growth in my business – new customers and new hostesses.  Recruiting is not where I want it to be BUT I keep sharing and keep asking.  I know God is waiting for the right people to join my team.

What is on YOUR agenda for your weekly meeting? Share your best tip for staying on track in your business.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

Mid-Year Check Up

 

OMG!  The minute you look at the calendar and realize we are half way through the year? I love my “passion planner“!  Each month it helps me to reflect on the past 30 days and plan for the next based on my goals.  When I turn the page on Saturday, it is going to have me look at the last 6 months and honestly, I’m not sure what it will reveal.

The year is half over and it is a great time to check in with yourself (and your goals) – a chance to celebrate your accomplishments or get back on track.  Here are four questions to ask yourself as you head into the second half of the year, courtesy of Valerie Burton:

1. What accomplishment are you most proud of so far this year?

I usually breeze through my accomplishments without acknowledging what it took to achieve them.  I looked back on the las six months and realized, I have done A LOT  personally and professionally.  It can be as small as a shift in your thinking (slamming the door on Negative Nellie) or reaching a major goal, either way, take a minute and answer this question: What are you most proud of in the last six months?

I’m sure you are all tired of hearing it but for me, the biggest accomplishment was earning the Leadership Incentive Trip from Thirty One.  The second accomplishment was earning a spot in the 2K group based on consistent sales.  My mantra has been “I am a successful CEO” and I am speaking it into the Universe every day!

2. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far this year?

It isn’t always the goal you achieve but the journey on the way to the goal which is the most valuable.  As we work towards goals, we learn lessons we might not have learned otherwise. The lessons help to shape you for the rest of your journey which helps you to set and reach meaningful goals.

My biggest lesson has been “embrace the season I am in”.  Health issues have made for some interesting days and resulted in some days of depression.  I am grateful for an amazing upline and friend who gave me permission to “be where I am” without judgement.  Yes, I needed permission.

3. What is the most meaningful milestone you could accomplish by the end of this year?

We set lots of goals, but it’s important to understand the goal which will be most meaningful and gratifying to you. Maybe it is about your business: the numbers, or a earning a trip, or growing your team or making a difference in the lives of others.  Maybe it is something personal (confidence, declutter, losing weight, etc.).  It is not just looking at the resolutions (or goals) you wrote down on New Year’s Day, it is about digging deeper. It is when you ask yourself, ‘if I could accomplish just one thing the remainder of this year, the one which holds the most meaning for me, what would it be’?  Understand totally why it matters so much to you. The deeper the meaning, the more likely you are to push through no matter what to reach it. So, why is it so meaningful?  What will it mean to accomplish this particular milestone?  How will it feel?

Honestly, I’m not sure what it is.  I need to do some deep digging but I am leaning towards  hitting my goal weight.  My weight issues are linked to so many other things for me – personally and professionally.

4. What would make it easier for you to reach this milestone?

You have set a goal – one which matters the most to you, right?  The reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they haven’t set themselves up for success.  What are the things holding you back from reaching this goal?  Did you know your chances will decrease in reaching your goal unless you remove or reduce obstacles which are in your way?  So ask yourself: What can I move out of the way? Who can I invite into the process? Or what can I drop from my schedule to free up some space, energy and time.

Can I move ME out of the way?  I went back to Weight Watchers because I know I can’t do it on my own – Step 1.  The problem is ME!  Old habits linked to fear, doubt and lack of confidence keep me in the yo-yo game of reaching goal.  OUCH!

So, here is my challenge to you:  Do a quick mid-year review of your progress and establish your focus for the second half of the year.  Think about the four questions and write the responses down.  Be honest with yourself.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Favorite Products

Erasable Pens and Markers

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Happy Saturday morning!  I know it is a strange topic for my blog BUT I am in LOVE!  I have been using these pens for about a year or more, off and on.  As I get ready for the new year (yup, already planning 2017), I have turned to them more and more.

I am going to show my age here (pushing 60) but erasable pens were around awhile ago.  They claimed you could write in pen and erase your mistakes.  The truth was you made a mess.  They smeared and you usually ripped your paper.  Some of the ink came off but most of it stayed on the paper.

So, you can guess I was skeptical when a fellow consultant shared about the Fusion erasable pens.  I mean could they really work?  As everyone knows, I am a paper person when it comes to my planner and white out tape had become my new best friend.  I mean how else could I make changes in my planner without it looking like a war zone.  Liquid white out clumped and smeared making my planner look messy.  Yes, I squirreled for a moment.

I quickly ordered an assortment pack of pens and highlighters. What I found was, they are AMAZING!  The pens combine the convenience of a retractable pen with the incredible FriXion erasable gel ink.  They erase and rewrite repeatedly without damaging documents.  The best part is they come is 7 colors – Black, blue, red, turquoise, purple, green and pink. Oh wait AND they are refillable.  71ovj3ja9fl-_sl1500_

The Pilot Frixion Light Fluorescent Ink Erasable Highlighter Pen comes in Pink, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet.  These have made my calendar blocking so much easier.  Every Sunday, I sit down and plan out my week.  I color coordinate (or at least try) to block out the time in my planner based on the things I have to get done.  Do things change?  Yup!  The best part is when I need to change a block of time, I can simply erase it, change the color or just get rid of it totally.  No need for white out or white out tape.

I am actually getting excited about planning out 2017 in my new Passion Planner (shh, I think it is a surprise from hubby).  Color blocking will allow me to focus on tasks needing to be completed.  Oh, did I mention, I add smiley faces in the blocks to know I have accomplished the time slot as scheduled.  I know it is a crazy thing but for me, it allows me to see what I have accomplished when I am feeling like nothing is getting done.

Check out these amazing pens and let me now what you think.  I haven’t found them in the stores – only on Amazon.  So, click the links to get yours (no, I don’t get any kickback for these).

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!